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Dongdaemun 동대문 area isn't only notorious for its late night shopping, it also includes dining with restaurants operating non-stop 24 hours. The stretch of lane located behind the 3 prominent shopping malls in Dongdaemun (Hello apM, Migliore and Doota) is filled with Korean BBQ restaurants waiting to replenish your stomach after shopping up a storm. Butumak 부뚜막 was the first Korean BBQ restaurant we had during our Seoul trip.


Butumak, a brightly lit corner restaurant on a corner lot, seems to be quite popular not only to the locals but also the Japanese tourists.


Most of the restaurants in Dongdaemun area are tourist-friendly, with well-written English and Japanese menu and waitresses that can speak in Mandarin.


Most of the grilled pork prices range from KRW 10,000 - KRW 12,000/pax (RM 28.50 - RM 34.20) and grilled beef prices range from KRW 17,000 - KRW 20,000/pax (RM 48.45 - RM 57) with minimum serving for two people. We had one serving each of samgyeopsal 삼겹살 (Pork Belly) and Marinated Beef.


Like any other Korean restaurants, a wide array of banchan (side dishes) will be served as starter before the main course begins. Of course, you can ask for more without any extra charge.


True to the Korean tradition in food, even the richest foods are made healthier with the addition vegetables like lettuce and garlic.

Not every Korean BBQ restaurant in Seoul uses the traditional charcoal stove. Butumak uses the more common grill pan over a stove built into the center of the table. Don't worry about not knowing how to cook, the waitress usually takes care of it. Unless she is extremely busy and your food is burning, you better do some flipping!


Despite lacking the smokiness flavor from using a charcoal stove, it is definitely less messy and less likely to over burn.


No Korean BBQ is complete without ssamjang 쌈장 (Chili Soybean Paste).


The best way to eat the grilled meat is to wrap it with fresh lettuce, ssamjang, garlic and shredded scallion - ssambap 쌈밥 (Korean Lettuce Wraps). "Ssam" means 'wrap' in Korean, and "bap" means 'rice'. Besides using rice in the wrap, there is endless variations of what that can be stuffed in it.


Besides grilled or barbecued meat, Butumak does serve various noodles and rice dishes. Ttukbaegi Bulgogi 뚝배기 불고기 (KRW 6,000 / RM 17.10), marinated minced beef cooked with vegetables and glass noodle in a hot stone bowl. We just love the dramatic bubbling cauldron action as it arrived.


The stew was lightly sweet and generously filled with tender minced beef. This dish definitely warmed our hearts in the cold rainy summer and we finished it all in the blink of an eye!


Dolsot Bibimbap 돌솥비빔밥 (KRW 6,000 / RM 17.10), rice with mixed vegetables in a hot stone pot. Mixed it really well with few spoonfuls of gochujang 고추장 (hot pepper paste) sauce.


It was okay but it wasn't as good as our favorite place for dolsot bibimbap at Gomone in Ampang Point. It was probably due to the lack of ground beef and less sweetened gochujang sauce.

Verdict: Butumak is a Korean restaurant that never sleeps. Despite operating 24 hours, the quality and freshness of their meat is good. The taste is decently good with relatively reasonable price.


Address:
18-84, Euljiro 6-ga,
Dongdaemun, Jung-gu,
Seoul, South Korea
Tel: 02-2267 2522
Business Hours: Opens daily 24 hours
Pork Free: No
Taste:
Value:
GPS: 37.567390, 127.007422
Map:

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